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 Tommi (Anton) Parzinger  (1903 - 1981)

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Lived/Active: New York / Bermuda/Germany      Known for: figure and still life painting, design-porcelain, furniture, jewelry

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Ad Code: 3
Tommi Parzinger
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Rago Arts and Auction:
Anton (later "Tommi") Parzinger was born in Munich, Germany in 1903.  He studied at the Munich Kenstgewerbeschule, or School of Applied Arts in 1920.  The school was renowned for attracting talented individuals in the fields of industrial design and applied arts and was known for promoting artistic objects for everyday living.(1)

At the Munich Kenstgewerbeschule, Parzinger produced a wide range of decorative arts, experimenting with furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, modeling, joinery, and gilding. (2)  Upon leaving the design school, Parzinger worked designing porcelains for the Royal Porcelain Manufacturer, or KPM in Vienna and Berlin from 1923 to 1928.

Parzinger came to New York City in 1932 aboard the ocean liner the Bremen.  He won the trip for his poster design for the steamship line company, North German Lloyd.  Parzinger returned to Munich a year later, to be greeted by the new Nazi regime, at which point he returned to New York permanently at the age of thirty-two.(3)

Parzinger's first gig was working for Rena Rosenthal who owned a specialty gift shop on Madison Avenue.  Parzinger created ceramic and metalwork to be featured in Rosenthal's shop.  He also began designing for the fashion and jewelry designer Hattie Carnegie.

In 1938, Parzinger designed a small collection of furniture for the Charak Company of Boston.   Parzinger's furniture was modern, distinctive, yet traditional, and beautifully made.  His custom furniture featured hand-tooled details and custom hardware at a time when mass-produced furniture was the norm. (4)  In 1939 he opened his own shop, Parzinger, Inc. in New York.  The store closed in 1941 due to the war, and Parzinger moved to Bermuda where he worked creating illustrations for Conde Nast.(5)

Shortly after the war, Parzinger ended his relationship with the Charak company, designing his last collection for them in 1949.  He went on to work with other manufacturers, learning to compromise his bold, sometime purposefully impractical designs with the demands of industry.(6)   He changed the name of his company to Parzinger Originals in 1952.

He died in 1981.

1. Iovine, Julie V. "Tommi Parzinger" in ed. Todd Merrill and Julie V. Iovine, Modern Americana (New York: Rizzoli, 2008. p. 175
2. Ibid, p.175
3. Ibid, p.176
4. Ibid, p.179
5. Ibid, p.179
6. Ibid, p.180

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